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Insects 2018, 9(3), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects9030102

Sleeping Beauties: Horizontal Transmission via Resting Spores of Species in the Entomophthoromycotina

1
Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
2
Department of Entomology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
3
USDA ARS, Robert Holley Center for Agriculture & Health, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms Underlying Transmission of Insect Pathogens)
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Abstract

Many of the almost 300 species of arthropod-pathogenic fungi in the Entomophthoromycotina (Zoopagomycota) are known for being quite host-specific and are able to cause epizootics. Most species produce two main types of spores, conidia and resting spores. Here, we present a review of the epizootiology of species of Entomophthoromycotina, focusing on their resting spores, and how this stage leads to horizontal transmission and persistence. Cadavers in which resting spores are produced can often be found in different locations than cadavers of the same host producing conidia. Resting spores generally are dormant directly after production and require specific conditions for germination. Fungal reproduction resulting from infections initiated by Entomophaga maimaiga resting spores can differ from reproduction resulting from conidial infections, although we do not know how commonly this occurs. Reservoirs of resting spores can germinate for variable lengths of time, including up to several months, providing primary infections to initiate secondary cycling based on conidial infections, and not all resting spores germinate every year. Molecular methods have been developed to improve environmental quantification of resting spores, which can exist at high titers after epizootics. Ecological studies of biological communities have demonstrated that this source of these spores providing primary inoculum in the environment can decrease not only because of germination, but also because of the activity of mycopathogens. View Full-Text
Keywords: Entomophthoromycotina; insect pathogens; zygospore; azygospore; pre-death behavior change; field persistence; epizootics Entomophthoromycotina; insect pathogens; zygospore; azygospore; pre-death behavior change; field persistence; epizootics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Hajek, A.E.; Steinkraus, D.C.; Castrillo, L.A. Sleeping Beauties: Horizontal Transmission via Resting Spores of Species in the Entomophthoromycotina. Insects 2018, 9, 102.

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